“Snow”, an Austrian-German co-production and one of the 16 titles presented at the Berlinale Series Market Select showcase, weaves the timely issue of climate change and local folklore into a mysterious and suspenseful drama set in the scenic Austrian Alps.
Brigitte Hobmeier plays the role of Lucia, a doctor who, together with her husband and children, moves to the village, where she replaces the local doctor, who is retiring. Things take a disturbing turn when his daughter is visited at night by an unknown woman.
The series’ presentation at the EFM event brings the title back to Berlin, where it reunited in 2020 at the Berlinale Co-Production Market’s Co-Pro Series event.
Based on an idea by Michaela Taschek about the impact of climate change and old secrets being revealed, the series was originally developed early on by the late Witcraft-based producer Ursula Wolschlager and Vienna-based filmmaker. Barbara Albertwho originally planned to direct the series but ultimately decided to take on a supervisory role instead.
Gabriela Bacher later joined the project as executive producer and moved the project to its Vienna-based primary footage following Wolschlager’s death in 2021.
“I was very grateful that Barbara was with me the whole time,” Bacher told Variety.
Catalina Molina and Esther Rauch then joined the project as directors, with Albert remaining as creative consultant “throughout filming, post, music and grading”.
“I was lucky because I had two fabulous, very strong directors running this show.”
Two other writers, Kathrin Richter and Jürgen Schlagenhof, added and expanded on Taschek’s original material for the final screenplay.
Austrian pubcaster ORF was the first co-producer to come on board the project. “We have, I think, the best editor I know in the world. Her name is Katharina Schenk. She was basically our fearless leader.
Bacher then hosted X Filme’s Uwe Schott as well as beta movie manage global sales. Other broadcast partners soon joined, including German regional channels BR and NDR and Franco-German channel Arte.
Although set in a small Alpine village in Austria, the series was filmed in the Italian regions of South Tyrol and Veneto with support from IDM South Tyrol-Alto Adige and the Veneto Film Commission. It was a great place, Bacher noted: “Landscapes, landscapes, tax credit and fabulous Italian crews.”
Albert was sorry to step down from the director’s chair after working on the story for so long with Wolschlager and Taschek, but had to do so due to conflicting projects, including the Sky series ‘Funeral for a Dog’, the production of which took more time. than expected due to the COVID-19 crisis and a long-gestating movie that finally came together, his upcoming period drama “Blind At Heart.”
“I had to decide – would I be able to be on set? Unfortunately I had to say that I couldn’t be on set to shoot but I was so involved in the project that it was very difficult for me, and I hope for the rest of the team, to say goodbye.
Albert noted that she had known Wolschlager for a long time. “She worked on my first feature film 25 years ago. It was a long collaboration and a friendship.
Rauch was immediately interested in the series when she first heard about it while sitting in the audience at the Berlin Co-Pro Series event. Hailing from Salzburg, Rauch had previously worked on a story with mystical elements set in Salzburg’s Untersberg mountain. Although she never finished this story, she brought some of its elements to “Snow,” particularly those revolving around ancient mountain goddesses and magical female figures.
The character of Lucia “reflects a lot of that without telling a fairy tale. She gets her strength from accepting that there’s this enormous strength of mythological women behind her.
Praising Hobmeier’s creative contribution to her character’s development, Bacher said, “She’s such a strong actress and presents in the most positive way.”
Hobmeier explained that she tends to “prepare a lot because I come from the theater. I like to work; I like to prepare; I like to participate in the creative process.
“Snow” also stars Robert Stadlober, Maria Hofstätter, Marie-Luise Stockinger, Karl Fischer and Stipe Erceg.